Sunday, October 31, 2004

Poker Night

Giving up the lake for winter is just as hard as I thought it was going to be, all summer long..... every weekend we always had a place to go and see family and friends, how sad our little cove at the lake looks without the campers and the lawn chairs and the gathering of people.

No more gatherings at the fire pit, no more splashes from the lake and sound of running feet and laughter from everybody's children. For now at least the trap house is open, it might be open for the winter season too for the ice fisherman and the hunters. So right now it serves as a meeting place for us grown children of summer to still mingle. 

Last night was poker night, small change. Normally it was just the men still going and sitting around smoking their smelly cigars and sipping whiskey, but the women decided to get in on some of the action last night. My pile of change grew small then recouped a couple of times while I learned the many variations of poker. I'm not much of a whiskey girl so my choice of beverage was hot apple cider and spiced rum! But I have been known to partake in the smoking of cigars! lol

As usual the men did the cooking but instead of cooking over the pit like we do all summer long, the grills came looked like a tail gate party and the smell of the goose and venison shish-kA-bobs filled the air. It was still warm enough for the children to run around outside in the dark and play the last few games of summer and even everybody's beloved pets are welcomed in the trap house.

As usual everybody vowed to see each other over the upcoming long winter, but I'm still not sure if I'm going to be into sitting on a frozen lake, waiting for a fish to bite, right now I can't see the enthusiasm in that! lol Maybe I'll attempt to ice skate again like I did in my youth, but the thought of a body cast is shedding some serious doubt on that too!

Saturday, October 30, 2004

The Pros and Cons of Marriage

A few good things about being married.............

Every night is a pajama party with "Pajama's being optional"

Someone else to blame when your kids are acting up

Someone always there to deflect things for you

Someone always willing to listen to all your "Remember when" stories

Someone always willing to answer all your "What if" questions

Someone better than "Rubber Ducky" at bath time

Someone always willing to "Wash your back"

Someone always ready to laugh when you laugh

Someone to share romantic dinners with even if it's '"Take-out" food and candles on the cocktail table in the Living Room

Someone to always stick your cold feet on to warm them up!

The not so good side......................

Some come with "PITA" In-laws

Someone to always ask, "What's for dinner?" UGH!!!

Someone to always answer your question with a question!

Someone who blames you when the kids act up

Someone who has never learned the art of sharing the remote control

Someone who asks "Where do you want to go for dinner" then shoots down every suggestion! lol

Someone who wants to see every "Action Movie" that comes out

Someone who contemplates committing you every time you PMS!

Someone who will never understand your need for 45 pairs of shoes and some 30 matching purses!


Friday, October 29, 2004

Heard it in a love song

Oh how needy can I be that I couldn't just settle for love, it had to be big love, I had to be adored! How lucky am I to have that kind of love? When I need to be left alone he senses that and leaves me to my thoughts, when I need to be comforted, he comes to me with open arms and holds me. When I need to be told I am acting like a spoiled brat, he tells me that with love and gentle teasing, when I'm being extremely difficult he shows me the bigger picture without hurting my feelings........ Our love is unconditional. How can all this still be true after all these years together?

Do we have rough patches? We sure do! We are only human, but they are so small and insignificant compared to what we have that they can't take their toll on us. We see each others faults and love each other madly, it's easy to do when you look through the eyes of love.

One thing we have always done right, was to put each other first and foremost, we put each other first, even before our children, when not to long ago that was taboo! When one looks at the divorce rate of empty nesters, one can see the error of the old ways. Back then you always put the children first, in doing so you weren't nurturing the love that brought your two hearts together in the first place, so when the kids grew up and moved away, you no longer had things in common, the things you did have in common just moved out.

Coming into this relationship with kids and then having kids of our own, we are looking forward to being alone. When we talk about our future together, it's like the anticipation to Christmas to a child!
We talk of places we want to travel to, things we want to experience with each other, simple things like redwood forests, lobster houses on the East Coast, sun sets across the lake, views of the grand canyon, dips in the ocean, watching our grown children make their way in life and the arrival of our grandbabies!

To feel the butterflies still...... after all these years!

Songs of love
Annie's Song
John Denver

You fill up my senses
Like a night in a forest
Like the mountains in springtime
Like a walk in the rain
Like a storm in the desert
Like a sleepy blue ocean
You fill up my senses
Come fill me again

Come let me love you
Let me give my life to you
Let me drown in your laughter
Let me die in your arms
Let me lay down beside you
Let me always be with you
Come let me love you
Come love me again

You fill up my senses
Like a night in a forest
Like the mountains in springtime
Like a walk in the rain
Like a storm in the desert
Like a sleepy blue ocean
You fill up my senses
Come fill me again

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Confessions from the Confessional

Things I actually did as a child..............

Jumped off of a bridge (several times with friends) can you hear your Mother now, "If your friends told you to jump off of a bridge would you do it?" Ummmmmmm......... yes! Been there done that!

I was kicked out of "Brownies" (first step of being a girl scout) in the First Grade for accidentally hitting the Brownie Leader in the face with an Ice Ball (frozen snow ball) and then after I was scolded I asked her,"Do you practice what you preach?" Now I didn't know what it meant at the time, but she was pressuring me for an answer of some sort so I shot that one out there and BAM! I was kicked out of the Brownie Program! lol I still know the Brownie song about "I have something in my pocket" lol umm could it have been an ice ball! lol lol lol

I was always the decoy for hitchhiking! lol They would put me out there with my thumb up and then when I was offered a ride 9 of my friends and I would jump out of hiding and jump into the car! Now that scares the hell outta me today! What was I thinking???

During a crack down on drug use in High School, I was photographed several times through surveillance in what was known as "Smoker's Alley" (pot) and my poor Mother had to go in and view the picture's on a Saturday morning along with tons of other parents and then I finally had the chance to view them in my guidance councilor's office and he then told me that the cops wanted him to tell me that I was very photogenic! Greeaaaaat huh?!?!?....... NOT!!!!!! (because we all were minors we got off with just a slap on the wrist, Saturday school and a warning of "Next time you will have a record!" There was also a picture of me mooning the surveillance van! OOOOPS my bad! lol

Do you see why I ADORE my Mother so much now? She never gave up on me and these are but a FEW things that I put her through! lol I would of killed me a long time ago! lol Ok, I'm leaving the confessional now, be back with more later........maybe! lol

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Then and Now

In growing up I watched my Mother struggle, always trying her best to raise her three teenagers on her own after my Father left home and who later died when I was 16. She was born an only child to parents in their 40's and both parents had passed on leaving her alone, without a safety net.

So many of the things I have learned in life were simply learned by silently watching my Mother, I saw her grace and her strength and I saw how she only relied on herself. If one learns to rely on oneself, they will never be disappointed. Disappointment comes only after someone else has let you down.

I have learned in only relying on myself, I don't trust other's so readily. The only ones that I trust completely are my Mother and My Husband. Even growing up with my siblings, we didn't learn how to comfort each other as children, so it's almost impossible now as adults.

Most of my childhood was spent on learning to become invisible to escape the wrath of my alcoholic Father. I can't comprehend why I loved him so much but still held him accountable for the things he was not-so-wonderful about. I guess that's a good thing though, because that means I must have forgiven him and let go of the things I needed to let go of.

I know much of the self punishment I inflicted on myself was due to the fact that I didn't properly handle my fathers death, but then again how does a 16 year old girl cope with death, when she wasn't exposed to it until it was her father, lying there in the casket, I just went comfortably numb and stayed that way for a very long time. The only time I surfaced inside myself was to check and see if I still had a pulse.

I was angry, but fought only with myself, deep inside myself. For years of suppressing my grief, I almost forgot how to feel again. I hurt anybody that tried to get near me, I pushed away family, I pushed away me. I did things that I am only coming to grips with now and I'm 41. Now as I look back I see why I did the things I did, and that stopped the cycle. I still haven't made every connection, but I'm willing to try to see them now, some of it probably will never make sense to me, but I can stand outside myself and watch the reruns of my life go past me and say, "Oh! Now I understand!" If you understand why you did the things you did, you are in much more control of stopping yourself from doing them again and again.

I wasn't a bad child, just willful. I disappointed my Mother a lot, I disappointed myself a lot! I pushed things down so deep and thought I'd deal with all another day. Much of it I stored away as something that I thought didn't hurt or affect me until I hit my 30's, I couldn't hold it all in or hold it all back anymore and it all came bubbling to the surface and almost drowned me.

Things that I thought I escaped in my youth came back with a vengeance and all the hurt and denial spewed forward and cut me all over again, I felt everything I didn't allow myself to feel when I was younger. I guess in my 30's.... my psyche was able to handle things my younger mind had to block out.

I often wonder how I made it through all that I have and have some sort of semblance of normalcy in my life now. I feel blessed to finally be free from my painful youth, even though it still creeps up on me when I least expect it, something will trigger something deep inside of me and either I can travel back to what it was and deal with it or I can comfortably leave it alone.

I am no longer comfortably numb........I feel life again and I'm celebrating it!

AH HAH Moments

Funny how you remember every mean thing ever spoken to you and every profound thing too. I would like to share a few profound words spoken to me in my life, those were words that didn't need an explanation, those were more "AH HAH!" moments.

My parents were divorced before my Fathers death but still very much in love with each other. In fact, they were discussing getting back together after 3 years of being divorced when he died at the early age of 41. Since they were divorced and he was buried in a Catholic Cemetery and my mother isn't catholic I wanted to move my father's remains to a place where they could be buried side by side, My sister agreed with wanting this too, so I brought it up to my Mother during a discussion on living wills, funeral arrangements, etc., My mother turned to me and said,
" Your father and I are soulmate's, therefor it doesn't really matter where we are buried because we will always find our way back to one another"
That was an "AH HAH" moment for me.

When I was newly married to my husband he saw that I was unhappy about having to make sacrifices for the good of our family and when I was feeling a little bit selfish (Oops My Bad! lol) he said to me,
" If I could give you the sun and the moon and the stars I would, but right now all I have is "me" to give to you and I hope that "I" will always be enough for you" (And he has)....that was a "AH HAH" moment for me.

When my youngest, my Son who was only 3 and a half, looked up into the sky after a very bad storm and the sunlight was breaking through the clouds in streaks he said,
"Look Mommy! That is was GOD looks like! Do you see HIM Mommy? Doyou?"
That was an "AH HAH" moment for me.

With most women loving the child shortly after conception, I always asked my husband when he fell in love with each of the children which is/was usually more tangible, like when he held them for the first time and after literally just giving birth to my last child, I asked my husband when was the exact moment he fell in love with this
child and he said,
"When I saw the look in your eyes (mine) right after they told you that you finally had a son" was a "AH HAH" moment for me.

Everytime my youngest daughter sings in public, I have an "AH HAH" moment, that voice..... and that soul...... that child was given..... Everyone that hears her sings, knows that is what she was placed here on earth to do, for everyone that hears her as an "AH HAH" moment!

These are but a few "AH HAH!" moments in my life......I have had many more and I hope to have many more to come, and when I do I'll write about them too!

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Isn't it Ironic

Isn't it Ironic......................


That when your the driver of a car, you feel that you have the right of way but when your the pedestrian you also feel you still have the right of way?

That when your pushing a shopping cart you are much more polite to the cart traffic around you then you would be to a fellow driver unless someone leaves their cart in the middle of the aisle, then you have no problem grabbing their cart and moving it yourself, but it's not something you think of doing when a car is double parked and blocking your route?

That you buy garbage bags specifically to throw them out?

That you put bread in a toaster to make it hard and dry but you throw out bread that has become stale? (hard and dry)

Your own messy house with dust bunnies isn't nearly as offensive as your neighbors?

That your Parent's pet peeves become your own pet peeves the older you get?

That when your in a hurry you speed down your own street but give the "Evil Eye" to everybody else that does?

You get shocked when you see someone from your past who has "Let themself go" and then realize so have you?

I think this list can go on and on, but I, myself am done with all this deep thinking, (lol) I'm getting a headache! lol

Old Friends

With recently spending time with an old friend, I had forgotten how good it feels to be with somebody from your childhood.  You still laugh about the same things that you laughed about as a child and you realize that someone else shares the same exact memories from your youth.  We laughed about her children attending the same school we attended and how some of the teachers are still there.  We talked about old friends who have come and gone in our life and smiled about the ones who are still here.  We went through everything together, puberty, boyfriends, heartbreaks and nights of endless giggles at sleep overs. 

With her I don't have to explain every single nuance of my life, she knows me, she knows my past which leaves the need to explain who I am today, totally unnecessary.  We know what makes each other laugh, what makes each other sad and what drives each other crazy!  Almost every one of our conversations starts with, "Remember when...."  Spending the day with her is like opening up an old scrap book filled with snapshots and great memories. I feel blessed to have her in my life again. We were children of the 60's, teenagers of the 70's, wild women of the 80's, Momma's of the 90's and women to be reckoned with in the new century!

With a friend from your childhood you don't even have to finish your sentance and they are already laughing with you! They are laughing just because you are and the both of you are laughing so hard the tears are just pouring down your faces and you haven't even finished the sentance and by the time you do you can hardly catch your breath! I LOVE those moments!

The town I grew up in had a small school with only one class per grade so everybody was in your class year after year, many of us still keep in touch and have "Big Chill" weekends with each other, no kids or spouses allowed........ just us grown up kids from the neighborhood! Some have moved far away and who ever can get away gets away and who ever can't promises to be at the next "Big Chill" We converge on the house of one of the friends and we spend a long weekend together, its been here in Chicago, Wisconsin and as far away as Vegas and California.

My husband's parting words everytime I leave to get together with them again is, "Don't call me for bail money!" lol I literally come home with my face hurting from smiling and my sides hurting from laughing so hard! My adult life is wonderful but sometimes its good to be a kid again!

Monday, October 25, 2004

Painful Life Lessons

I thought learning my own lessons while growing up was painful, I have come to the conclusion watching your own child learn theirs is way more difficult!

A mothers first instinct is to try and make it "All Better" but there are times a Mother has to hold back and let the child hurt just a little so the lesson is learned. That happened to my youngest, my baby boy (12) yesterday and I almost had to turn away and have a moment to myself, but If I would have rushed in and made it "All Better" he might not have this lesson in life..... long learned.

We were at a "lake" sponsored Halloween party and as usual the adults mingled in their circles and the kids mingled in their own, and some inappropriate language was used by a few of the kids, mine included, and my son was the one overheard by another parent of one of the children.

The other parent did the right thing and came to find me instead of just chewing my Son up without the presence of one of his parents. That I have a hard time with, I don't want someone else parenting one of my children when I'm right there and can handle it myself, I believe no one should have to parent another persons child in plain view of their own parent.

After listening to both sides and still feeling my Son was in the wrong, he apologized to the girls he spoke to and then their parents. I told them I appreciated them coming to find me and that I am not one of those parents that say, "Not my child!" I could tell on my Sons face when they first walked up, he was guilty and thought,'What did he do now?" After this was all over and my son and I were walking back to our lil group I said,"Sure feels terrible when your in the wrong doesn't it?" He couldn't even look me in the eyes, he just nodded his head, his shame took over and he just walked off in the woods for a while.

That is the part that was painful for me, I wanted to rush off and say, "You were wrong, you apologized and it's over now, come join the party" But in doing that he wouldn't have spent anytime going over in his head what he did, how he felt now
and stored that yucky feeling away as something he doesn't want to feel again....... ever.

Some lessons are better and forever learned when it "smarts" just a lil while longer.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The Dance

If I could slow dance the rest of my life I would die a very happy woman. Some of my best childhood memories are my father slow dancing my mother through the house softly singing to her. Those moments were magical for me as a small child. That is what I based romance on the rest of my life, that impromptu dance between lovers.

I have known my Husband for 23 years and I've belonged to him for over 18 of those years, our first date ended with a dance, our first kiss was while we were dancing. When he kissed me he took my breath away. I for once in my life was stunned into complete silence and he just looked into my eyes and laughed at my reaction then held me close until the dance was over. I don't think I took a breath until we were back in the car for the drive home.

This past summer while out at the lake and under the stars he danced with me again. It was one of those magical moments that I remember from my youth, all of our family and friends were there and for the first time our children were able to watch their parents dance. It was very much like our first dance, but this time we were the only ones dancing.......The look in my husbands eyes took my breath away like our very first kiss, he sang to me which is something he has never done before. Our children have always told me my husband has a beautiful voice, but he has never sang around me for me to hear it and here he was that night, dancing under the stars, in view of the other guests singing his heart out to me. That one moment meant everything to me........ If I loose memories of everything else near and dear to me, that is the one moment I never want my heart to forget.

Some of the best gifts in life are the simple ones........A favorite unexpected "I love you"....... an impromptu dance under the stars between lovers........a stolen kiss..........Starry Starry Night

Tuesday, October 12, 2004


We often think about ourselves in the same manner we were told as a child, Those that were constantly told they were stupid, feel stupid, those that were constantly told they were ugly feel ugly and so on.  Most of the time this begins the driving force to prove they were all wrong, a child that is told he is stupid will either become an over achiever to prove them all wrong or become compliant because he feels that he is no better than what he was told as a child, the "Why Bother" syndrome.

The child that was teased because they were told they weren't pretty will grow up and feel what God gave them isn't enough so they will continually feel the need to alter themselves until they feel they have reached what society has referred to as the "Beautiful People" And for some that is all it will take for them to feel good about themselves. It is needed to heal from the painful childhood taunts.

When my sister was turning 40, I planned a complete make over for her, she is the type that doesn't save anything for herself, everything is about her children and her husband, so often when it comes time for her she is too exhausted to do anything for herself. I had planned a day at a spa, dinner with what she thought was just our husbands and a night at the casino which I had invited everybody that was dear to her to come join in the celebration. At first I was afraid I might have been stepping on her Husbands toes taking over the celebration of her turning 40 party, and it's not that he doesn't love her because he does, he just doesn't know how to make her feel special.  I knew how, I am almost an expert of my sister, I have been her sister all my life.

The day at the spa started out with a manicure and pedicure which she has never treated herself too, A new hair cut because she was still wearing the same hair style she had since High School (think Farrah Fawcett) And we turned her dirty dish water blonde/grey hair into a vibrant red, by the time she made it into the make up chair she was just glowing! They make up artist asked, "What would you like me to do?" and I said, "paint her like a hooker!" when she was finished my sister was stunning!

All night my sister walked past me and it always took a few minutes to register that was my sister! He husband and friends and family just gushed over her! The night belonged to her and for once she commanded it! I don't think I have ever seen her so happy! I knew how much this night meant to her because she told me secretly, "For once I feel pretty....even prettier than you!" I took no offense to that, it was at that moment I realized how much that night meant to her.

She said, "I was always being compared to you, you were the cuter sister, the skinny sister, the sister who had all the boyfriends, the sister who could wear what ever she wanted to because everything looked good on you, the sister who got all the guys I wanted." I never knew this was her pain, I never knew she felt my "shadow."

I am the one who always felt hers, she was not only good at everything she tried to do, she was great at it! She was the better athlete, there wasn't any sport she couldn't excel at! Even childhood games she could beat me at without breaking a sweat! pogo stick, hop scotch, jump rope even paddle ball! For once I wanted to be better at something then she was.

How funny we both had inferiority problems with each other. I think we both knew about them but we didn't know how deeply they effected each other.

My Brother was always told you are the oldest, you are supposed to protect your younger sisters. He was our biggest abuser. My sister was always told, your a girl you can't do the things your brother does because he is a boy. She became a tom boy to some extent. I was always told I was the pretty one, so I felt that nothing else about me mattered. Little did anyone know I didn't feel pretty because it was something that I felt, I only was pretty because everyone else said I was. I had no self worth. I was never able to see the same things in me that others did.

My brother never had children of his own, he didn't feel he would be good enough as a father to have any, he knew he was damaged. My sister is still outdoing me at everything and I'm ok with that now, its a running joke between us and I'm still trying to see what others see when they look at me. Some labels never go away and some labels make us work harder. In my Brothers way of dealing with his own pain he created it for me and my sister, we were told we were dumb and stupid, that we didn't matter and that we would never amount to anything! We of course being stubborn Irish women in the making proved him all wrong. You can call us pretty and you can call us ugly, but don't ever call us stupid or dumb you may just get your ass kicked!

We all have our own pain and with ways of dealing with it, my sister and I have forgiven my brother, it is he that has not forgiven himself. It goes back several generations, so he ended the cycle by not becoming a parent instead of becoming a parent and breaking the cycle.

Most ebmbarrassing moment

Happy thread 14.....most embarrassing moment huh? Ok here we go......

I was 16 working my first job at a local mall where I knew everybody and everybody knew me. Didn't I look awesome in my white pheasant shirt tucked tightly into my white pheasant skirt cinched tightly with my tan leather wide belt and matching cowboy boots. Doing my regal walk from the parking lot to the escalator which I proceeded to trip and fall down the escalator. Did I mention that the sides were made of clear Plexiglas and the fact that I don't wear underwear?

So here's your mental image......... boots, tush, blonde, tush, blonde, tush blonde hair.......all the way to the bottom where I landed spread eagle with my pheasant skirt up over my head and everybody that could have possibly been at that mall that day, laughing so hard they were holding onto each other to keep from falling down! Now here I am trying to find one shred of dignity left, pull myself up and limp bleeding to my job! Telling everyone that came to help me to leave me alone and let me crawl outta there on my own.

That will teach me for feeling, "Oh so awesome in my white pheasant shirt tucked tightly into my white pheasant skirt, cinched tightly with my tan leather wide belt and matching cowboy boots!"

I still get a case of the giggles when I think what that must have looked like, me in all my glory......the pantyless tumbler!

Monday, October 11, 2004

Weekend Warrior

OK, 40~somethingers must be gluttons for punishment, a few weeks ago while out at an outdoor wedding reception, I tried to party like when 1999 was in the far of future! It took me a few days to get over that, not only did we try to party all night we tried to dance all night, in high heels, at the beach!

So what did I put myself through this weekend? Well, they say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, at this point I'll take death! lol Friday night while at the lake again, I partied in moderation, and Saturday I fished all day, not quiet little bobber fishing, the kind you cast and reel and cast and reel and when I did hook a fish, they were the most beautiful colored fish you can find in fresh water fishing..... Rainbow Trout! They don't give up without a fight let me tell you! Not one of them was coming in "reel" easy! ok..... pun intended! So I'm a little sore from that fight!

Not only did I fish all day Saturday, I tried skeet shooting for the first time Saturday night, 12 gauge shot gun, can you say ouch! So lets just say my right arm is "shot" for a few days, no pun intended! Not only did I not hit one clay pigeon, my 13 year old daughter who has never fired a weapon in her life, shot a damn clay pigeon on her very first "PULL!" She also did better with the bow and arrow later that night!

So now Sunday morning rolls around and what am I going to put myself through physically today? Horseback riding of course! After bring in all the horses from the pasture, bathing them, brushing them and then saddling them up, I decide to work with a horse that hasn't been ridden in a while.....Rocket Man....what was I thinking?

So now it's Monday morning and I can hardly move, walk or even stand up straight for that matter!  I have bruises in places I didn't even know I had! I have a pulled hamstring, so my husband informs me. If anybody needs me I'll be sneaking over to my neighbors house and living in the hot tub for the next few hours! Now If I can just crawl over there!!

Saturday, October 9, 2004

Behavior problem or ADHD? (part 2)

After learning all there is to know about the medications and therapy used for treating add/adhd, I chose to go with Adderal in my sons case. Within the first few hours there was a tremendous change in my son, he was calm, he was loving and he was able to think before he acted.  The scariest part of ADHD is how it effects the part of the brain that curbs impulses. Jimmy had no fear of getting hurt, he couldn't even get to that part about him doing something that could possibly hurt him or hurt others around him. When I went back to his specialist I literally cried tears of happiness! I thanked that Doctor for giving me back my son. I was able to fall in love with my son all over again, like I did at his birth, it was like a rebirth.

He immediately stopped being a discipline problem at school, his grades shot up, because he was finally able to process what was being taught to him and retain it, he became a different child, the child he was truly meant to be. His brain was finally firing off in the same manner as a brain that is considered normal. Would I with hold a medication from my child because this would mean he wasn't perfect, NO! Would I with hold giving my son a medication because of fear that I would be labeled another neurotic mother who medicates her son because it was the easiest thing to do, HELL NO! I medicated my son because I love him, I want good things in life for him, in order to have a good life one must be educated, how can one get an education if one cannot comprehend what is being taught to them.

He is very intelligent, he ranked 3 points off of genius when he was just 9 years old. He is a very gifted artist, he is a deep thinker and blows most adults away with his intellect and what he can understand at a child's level compared to what adults can understand. He notices everything now instead of going full throttle without care. He has stopped putting himself at risk of injury and has stopped hurting others, he is now able to feel compassion. In being human one has to be able to feel compassion.

Back when my husband was younger they did not know about ADD/ADHD. They labeled everybody that was outside of the norm, a trouble maker, incorrigible. He was kicked out of kindergarten, then out of that particuliar school totally. His mother often cried herself to sleep much like I used to. He is/was an undiagnosed adhd person himself, His mother had said when he turned 12, he became less of a handful. So has my son, so I tried taking him off medication without a good result, he does take med vacations during some of the summer, but then it does effect his social behavior, so we lower his doses during off school days.

Some experts say they either will or will not outgrow add/adh and then some experts say its not that they outgrow it, they just find better ways as an adult to cope with it. People with add/adhd do not do well in jobs with a lot of repetition, they need to be constantly challenged.

The best thing my sons therapist gave to him was a list of people past and present who showed characteristics of add/ would be surprised at all the forward thinking individuals who would have been labeled add/adhd! There were a lot of my sons heroes on those pages (Both Kennedy's, Einstein, Abe Lincoln, astronauts, peace makers, etc.), and that gave him peace of mind that he is going to be just fine!

Friday, October 8, 2004

Discipline problem or ADHD?

I often wonder how come society in general is much more accepting of physical disabilities then mental disabilities. I guess it's because if it's physical it can be seen, but if your look hard enough so can most mental disabilities. Disorders are even harder to accept because it has become such a "Buzz" word lately.

My Son as a baby and as a small child, was in constant motion, constant chaos. When he finally was in bed for the night, I used to collapse from physical exhaustion and cry myself to sleep. I would cry because I knew my day was over and because I knew tomorrow was going to be just like today. Because he was my last child and my only boy I attributed all that raw energy in he's a boy and that is what boys do. I had no other boy to compare it too. Total strangers would watch him and then say things to me like, "You have your hands full with that one!" or "I feel sorry for you!"

It seems what ever popped into his head he did, full throttle, he didn't care if he hurt himself other people. It wasn't until his first grade teacher, finally came to the conclusion that maybe he can't control himself. The "Lightbulb" finally lit up. I was always told he was a "discipline problem." And I can tell you I was raised military, I know what discipline is and I wasn't afraid to use it on my children, I am somewhat of a strict parent, I had no problem swatting my children when they were younger and needed swatting. I finally got to the point where I would say, if confronted by another person telling me "He's a discipline problem"......."Look! I'm not going to beat my child just to prove to you that it is beyond a discipline problem!" That seemed to shock most people into shutting up and made them realize how rude their comments actually were.  Like I didn't already know there was something different with my son Jimmy.

I am not the type of person to be satisfied with just a few answers, when I want to know about something I throw myself into learning all there is to know about it, to the point of obsessing. Call it a character flaw if you will but, I want to be an educated participant in life. After consulting with (Ok..... here is where you see me in action) His teacher(s), The school councilor, the school psychologist, the administrator, the pediatrician, the pediatric psychiatrist, the ped psychologist and my Doctor who I trust completely, my son was finally diagnosed with ADHD and ODD (Opposition Defiant Disorder) along with the statement, there will be more things in the future we will have to look into, because other disorders won't even show themselves until later in his life, most likely during puberty. I did my homework on this, I didn't just give my son medication (daily) because some Doctor thought I should. I am continually educating myself on his disorders, I just wish others would before they threw their 2 cents in. I would never assume I knew something more about something then someone experiencing it themselves, or worse yet, assume it was all in someone head. Something along the lines of walking in my moccasins theory.

Finding the right therapy for my son so he can be the best he can be, would prove to be a battle of I was up for. Funny how with one's own children they can become such a warrior. (continued later)

Thursday, October 7, 2004

Where is Thumpkin?

I don't think fingers get enough credit, I think we all take them for grant it. When was the last time you really thought about the significance of your fingers? Let me break it down for you.

Starting with your thumb, It's universal if you want a ride somewhere, just stick it out on any street and either people will choose to act like they don't see you or they will stop and offer you a ride. Try picking something up without using your thumb, it's almost impossible to grasp anything without it. And on your hand it's the only one that has it's own direction, kinda like odd man out huh?

On to your index finger, AKA pointer and for some picker! lol We use it to draw someone's attention to something, you want something noticed just point at it. Just think of the fun you could have walking around and randomly pointing at things to total strangers and see the look on their faces! Are they pointing at me? Who is this person? What are they pointing at? It's also used as the major "tapping finger." And for some they think it makes them total invisible in their car, that nobody else can see the gross things one can do while alone in the car. I like to yell that out to those people,
"Is that your magic wand? do think that I can't see you when it's up your nose???" oh the fun one can have while out running errands! lol

And how about that universal "Mood Finger!" Wanna really get someone's attention just stick that finger up in someone's general vicinity and see what happens!
you could get hurt trying this so use general precaution! I think it's the longest finger just for this purpose!

Now on to the delicate ring finger, its the finger I always imagined the "big rock' on as a small girl, when I became the grown up single girl, it was the first thing, Ok second thing about any man who was paying particular attention to me. And yes the face was the first, not because looks matter to me, they don't..... but because mutual attraction does. And now that finger with its "rock" on it symbolizes my love and commitment to my Husband, my Happily Ever After and total blind faith in true love.

Last but not least the little finger AKA the pinkie! I am not sure of its function but at least it has had a ring named after it too! The "Pinkie Ring" Maybe it there to remind us of how small our hands once were.

Those fingers are important! We need them! What else are you gonna use when singing, "Where is thumpkin?" or "Itsy Bitsy Spider?" Just think how "stupid" those T-shirts "I'm with stupid" would be without those fingers! (I think I have had to much caffeine for today, whatcha think??? lol)

Ode to the Coffee Bean

Things I would be so lost without

My Mother
My Husband
My children
My Bed
My Computer
My Ability to express myself
My camera
Family photographs
Family videos

Do you see a pattern forming here? I go through spurts of needing caffeine in my daily ritual and then I can go weeks without it, I think I am in need of some kind of 12 step program, I also think its sacrilegious to worship the coffee bean! Well, I guess I can add that to the list as to why I might end up burning in Hell! lol

Wednesday, October 6, 2004

Total Recall

In mid march of this year, I had another "episode" I don't know what else to call them since my Doctors are unable to reach a conclusion. It's funny how growing up you think that Doctoring is an exact science. It's not, the human body is a complex thing and the Doctor's don't always know how it ticks.

I have had seizures since I was preteen because of a childhood head injury. I also suffer from inherited migraines. When something happens frequently in your life you get used to it. A few years ago I started having sick to my stomach migraines which helped the migraine to pass quicker. Anything to help it run its course is good to me. Six years ago I had my first "episode."

While experiencing the usual migraine, I got sick to my stomach and passed out, only to wake moments later when I hit the floor, although I was still somewhat disoriented I knew something was terribly wrong with my heart, I felt EVERY heartbeat through my entire body. I went to my Husband who put his hand over my heart and he quickly rushed me off the hospital. I was in Atrial Fibrillation, it's where the top of your heart just quivers and the bottom functions properly, the threat comes with a blood clot forming and when your heart goes back into normal sinus rhythm the clot could break free and enter your brain causing a stroke, possibly death or you could blow a clot into your lungs which is just as deadly.

At the time I was only 35, no history of heart problems, I don't smoke I had normal if not low blood pressure, my cholesterol was low, so there weren't any risk factors that I was aware of. The hospital kept me over night with an IV cocktail and I was back in normal sinus rhythm by the next day.  Off for a battery of tests of my head and my heart this time they couldn't figure out what happened, wrote it up as a fluke of some kind and sent me on my way.

It has happened several times since then but only with a "Sick Migraine" This last time (in March) the migraine lasted for almost eight days. I had brain swelling and I went into Atrial Fib again.
Since that time whether as a result of the swelling or as the result of all the medications I am on now, my ability to remember things has diminished. Sometimes this is a good thing because it has wiped out some of my childhood years and sometimes this is a bad thing, I wonder how much of my everyday life with my family I will be able to hang on to.

I think I subconsciously started this journal just to see what I CAN remember and maybe as a log of things I don't want to forget. I know how painful forgetting can be, I can't remember my Father's voice and that upsets me beyond belief. When I have a day with total recall I am joyous about it, when I have a day where I can't even remember a few days ago I get frustrated and sometimes really pissed off. I have tried new medications and refused to take a few, I need my memories I have to remember how I got here.

My High school Sweetheart

Oh where do I want my mind to wander today? I'm thinking all the way back to my High School Sweetheart. His name was Vito, being the blonde haired blue eyed Irish girl I am, I was attracted to Italians when I was younger, especially during this time because Saturday Night Fever was just released. Vito was my first love.

I had met him while out with my current boyfriend name Kevin. who was a nice guy but to use a cliche' Vito had me at hello. I broke up with Kevin the next day. I met Vito 2 days before my birthday which is right around the Valentine's Day, so for my birthday slash Valentines present (Hey... I was in High School otherwise he would have never gotten away with combining presents! lol) He picked me up for dinner with a dozen long stemmed roses (red if my memory serves me right) and after dinner he handed me my present, it was a gold watch with a diamond chip in it. I still have it BTW, I'm sentimental about that kinda stuff, I just recently threw out all the cards he had given me. My Husband was very happy about that! lol

It was my Sophomore year (1979) and Vito was older with his own car, and it was a beauty too! It was a mint condition 1967 Buick Riviera, gold body white roof, white interior. Everybody knew that car and new I was Vito's girlfriend. He picked me up in front of my High School everyday.

Some weekends we would go up to Lake Geneva Wisconsin, that was the "In" thing to do back then. I think the drinking age was only 18 up there at that time. Vito's large Italian family loved me and I was always at their house. On some weekends his Mother would invite me to stay over, which I did a lot and she would wake me up in the middle of the night to cook.  She taught me how to make homemade everything! Sauce, ravioli, potato sausage (to die for) and sometimes she would wake me up in the middle of the night and throw Holy Water on me, I kid you not! I don't know what she was going through but I know it couldn't have been good.

We broke up a lot during our 2 year relationship, I would date other guys, he would go nuts and we would end up back together again. I was really in my princess mode at that time and not very nice I'm afraid. I remember the one time I pushed him to far and he never came back, oh..... how I cried and my Mother sat me down and said something's that really changed me, not all at once mind you! I was still a teenager and in my all about mestage!  She told me that I had to learn to not be so demanding, ironic isn't it that I chose to have that be my screen name (Demandnlilchit) and that someday someone was going to come along and break MY
heart, then I would really know how much I hurt others. Strong words for a mother to say huh? but words I needed to hear. I tucked that conversation away in my mind and when it finally happened I remembered it word for word.

After High School and at 18, I took off for New York. I wanted to see everything, do everything and I did. (but that's another story)
when I finally realized I needed to be here in Chicago with my family and my past, I moved back and actually dated Vito a few more times, but we were no longer the same people who had fallen in love years earlier. I have not seen him since and I hope life has treated him kind for he was a kind person.

Vito loved me when it I was difficult to love, but managed to love me anyway. I am glad he was my first love, he was always gentle with my soul.

Tuesday, October 5, 2004

I know love






When people ask, What is love?
I say, I know love
love is the way you look into my eyes
love is the way you make
me feel about myself.
Love is putting someone before yourself
love is always a safe and nurturing place,
Love is the way you
have brought laughter into my life.
It's the way your hand
 seeks to find mine in a crowd.
Love is the way you mesmerize me, as I watch words leave your beautiful mouth.
Love is finding ways to work
through difficult times.
love is when I am thinking of you
and you suddenly appear.
Love is the way you say my name
in a quiet whisper, as you kiss my cheek.
Yes, I know of love, for you have shown me.




Personal Growth

Personal's something that I try to work on daily. In a society that judges people on appearances, I try to look past that, I try to see the soul behind the face. When someone does something negative I try to figure out why they chose to, what is the factor on why they chose negative instead of positive.

Some people react to situations by associating it with something they can relate too, if they were judged growing up on how they looked, that is how they are going to judge people, if they were judged on how smart they are, intellect is how they will judge other people, ect. In parenting my children, I try to get them to look at people on how they treat other people, I know it's a form of judging but you can learn a lot about someone's character on how they treat people around them. I do not judge people on race, creed, religion or sexual preference, I judge them on their humanity.

We do in life as we are taught to do, so if as a child you were not taught to be kind or compassionate to others you will not know how to do it as an adult, same thing with love, if you are not shown love as a child, how are you to know what it is as an adult? I was not taught patience as a child (I am the baby in the family, what I wanted I was given) and it is something I am trying to learn on my own, old habits die hard so this one is a tough one for me.

I am also trying to learn how to walk that fine line of doing for my family because that is my responsibility as a parent and keep my own head above water...I lost myself once in this and it was a long journey back to me....this new way is teaching my children patience in a way......they now know if Mom is doing something important to her, they are going to have to wait their turn unless its an emergency. I was taught as a child that it wasn't polite to be selfish, but somehow I took that as "do nothing for yourself" so breaking that habit was hard to do too.

I love those "Ah hah!" moments in life where you learn something about yourself or someone else and it opens up a new way of thinking about things. The older one gets it seems those moments occur much more frequent. I think that saying about "Life begins at 40" should be changed to the "Meaning of life begins at 40!"

Personal growth.........its a beautiful thing!

Monday, October 4, 2004

weekend assignment #27

Weekend Assignment #27: There are 12 months in the year. Which is your favorite? Give us one good reason why.

I would have to say June, the flowers have all bloomed, there are a few perfect nights, where the wind is warm and gentle and the bugs aren't out to annoy you yet. Its a night where memories of your youth are brought forward when you played hide and seek with your friends, or you took that long ride out in the country on the back of the bike or in the convertible. The days are warm but not over bearing the nights are for sleeping with your windows wide open. The excitement in knowing that winter is months away. It is the month I feel most alive.

Extra credit - May, the buds are on the trees, snow is but a memory and you have the promise of warm summer nights just ahead of you.

a day in 90 seconds

alarm goes off......crawl from my bed
time to wake the children
ready them for school and life

quiet moment.... start the coffee
tick off things to do in my head
no particular order

dog visits the yard
washing machine hums
dryer tumbles

decide if the dust bunnies
get a day of reprieve
line up shoes in the hall

coffee cup in hand
I make my way to the computer
the machine that holds all my thoughts

listen to the music of the modem
attempt to clear off desk
there is always tomorrow

tap tap tap goes the keyboard
words rearranged or deleted
stories from my past come alive again

phone rings go unanswered
recorder catches the messages
mental note of calls to return

check the clock ritually
few more hours until chaos
few more moments to myself

Door opens loudly
voices tell me they are home
so much for the shoes lined up

snacks for the homework doers
kiss for the husband
as he walks through the door

pots and pans rattle in the kitchen
in a moment dinner is gone
the dishwasher hums quietly

orders for baths and bedtimes
a moment snuck in for cuddling
time for the 10 o'clock news

clicking of the alarm clock
set for a repeat performance
tomorrow is a new day

Childhood Leftovers

It's funny how things you lacked in your childhood are the things your still hungry for in your adulthood. Whether it be acceptance, love or even material things you still feel compelled to seek them out. At times the opposite might be true too, things you were given as a child you still need in your adult life, be it security, praise or acceptance.

The thing I remember as a child that I still feel I need in my adult life is security. I need to feel I can be protected at all times. I always felt safe sitting on the lap of my Mother or my Father, that gentle cradle as they held me in their arms, is something I still feel when my husband is holding me. Its a comfort zone that I still need.

After my parents divorce when I was 13, we had to learn to do without, my Father was not very good at making child support payments and my Mother had to hold down two jobs sometimes three jobs to keep everything as it was for us children. It wasn't until my fathers death three years later and Social Security kicked in, that she says she was finally able to go to the grocery store and buy what ever she wanted, she no longer had to worry about making ends meet. I can't even imagine how much weight this woman carried on her shoulders, my Father left her with three teenagers.

I think we all go into Parenting with the hopes that our children will not have to do without the things we had to do without, we always want a better life for our children. Some people confuse material things with giving your child what they need. I now live in a prominent neighborhood where excess of everything is rampant. (I only include this to show that these children are still lacking.) In being the "Mom" that not only my own children can talk to, but their friends as well, I have learned a great deal of these children have everything they could possibly want but "TIME" with their parents. The Father's are all off working hard to provide for their families, their Mother's are too busy with their own things and all these kids want is for someone to be home to talk to, to spend time with.

They like coming to my home because they say it feels more like a home. Its not a showcase with 'do not enter signs' in every room. Its house where rooms are lived in, there are shoes in the hallway, a few dishes in the sink, a muddy paw print occasionally, someone always home to talk to. We are a family of six, there is always a trace that someone has been somewhere. I couldn't be a 'Stepford Wife' if I wanted to be, it's simply not in my DNA.

When my Husband was growing up he said the worse thing for him was coming home to an empty house, so his only request for me is that I be here when the kids get home from school, that is his leftover need from his childhood. Our kids like knowing Mom is going to be there to talk when they need me. I also know I am very "LUCKY" to be able to stay at home, I saw my Mother and how hard she HAD
to work. She might not have always been home to "save me," but I also knew she was always there to talk to...... I just chose not to. So I am keenly aware when children "NEED" to talk but are reluctant.

My children do have more than we did, but we don't give our children everything, so they appreciate what they do have more, but the one thing we do give them plenty of is........our time.

Sunday, October 3, 2004


Summer at the lake

This past spring we joined a recreational club.  It has a huge lake stocked with fish, a beach, a club house, a party pavilion, trails, trap shooting, camping, hunting and fishing and so much more . For a kid it's as close to heaven as they know! Our family joined along with my sisters family, my brothers family and several other friends and their families, we have taken over the club!

We are know as the Cove Dwellers for all our camping trailers are tucked away in a lovely cove on the lake and its the site that everybody ends up coming too, because they know its always a good time. The kids can fish off the dock or take off in one of the boats, (we include Husbands in that category of kids) we have a huge open fire pit, that we cook all our community meals on, its a virtual feast there on the weekends, from hot dogs and burgers to grilled seafood, everybody brings a dish and something to go on the grill and everybody looks after everybody's children and the men do most of the cooking, its funny how grilling brings out the chef in them! lol.  We all have become even closer as a result of this club. Nights are always spent out by the fire pit toasting ourselves and some marshmellows.  Today's agenda is to go out there for the bears game and on the menu is chili, enchiladas and lasagna all made with venison from this seasons first hunt.

I can only image how much fun it is for the children, its a mini vacation to the woods every weekend. They've spotted deer, coyotes, possums, raccoons, huge turtles, foxes etc. They've gone on expeditions and met new friends. I can't tell you the beauty I see when I watch my son and my husband side by side fishing together, the joy in watching that relationship grow brings tears to my eyes.
Even the teenagers have been known to join us and have a good time!

It was the best investment we've ever made, it has brought us closer as a family, closer to our friends and our kids will have the best summertime memories to reflect back on when they become adults. Its a lil piece of heaven here on earth, just look at that beautiful sunset!

Friday, October 1, 2004

The Matriarch

The matriarch of my family is my Fathers' 87 year old Mother. She has been the touch stone of this family long before my time. Born the middle child of a low income Irish family she knew what it was like to go without, but what she had to go without in her adult life would break the spirit of any normal human being. She's an itty bitty thing, she stand about 4 ft 9 with shocking white hair, I tease her and call her "The Troll" and she still tries to knock the spit outta me.

She married her childhood sweetheart and had her first 5 children, Michael, (my father), Emmett, Bob, Ann and Dennis. They always dreamed of having their own house with a one horse for the kids to ride, that wasn't meant to be. After the birth of Dennis my grandfather fell ill with Tuberculosis. Back in that time, they had TB sanitariums and that is where my grandfather lived the last few years of his life.  He was a stubborn Irishman, he wouldn't let them cut him open and try to remove the spot on his lungs, so he went to his death early. During the last few years of living in the sanitarium he was allowed to go home for brief visits with his family, that is when his other two children Stephen and Susan were conceived. So here was my Grandmother, 35, widowed and trying to keep her 7 children together. It wasn't meant to be.

Either my grandfather or a relative was a "moose member" and in Illinois there is a place for families called "Mooseheart" its a place where families can turn to during hardships.  It was a place where they could find a place to live, 3 square meals a day and an education.  In reality it wasn't a good place for a family, back then you were separated into certain houses, you were separated by sex, and age so even though they saw each other daily they did not live as a family. My aunt speak of seeing each other but not being able to speak to each other, there were strict rules. I don't know to much about it, but I know my father and my Uncle Emmett ran away every chance they got.  They would jump trains heading east back to the city of Chicago, to the neighborhood they grew up in, my Grandmother and her Brother and Brother-in-law would go into the city to find them and return them to Mooseheart. Finally when my father was 17 and my uncle turned 16 they let them be, they didn't go find them and drag them back. Depending on which of my aunts and uncles you talk to this was either a goodplace or a bad place to be in. But when you were poorer than poor, it was a place to go.

My Grandmother not only had to bury her Mother and her Husband within six months of each other, But she has had to bury her oldest child my father, who died at 41 due to complications of alcoholism, she buried her 2nd oldest son, he was a recovering alcoholic himself, but cigarettes and cancer is what killed him and she also had to bury her oldest daughter from the same disease.

Sometimes this woman is bitter because of the hand that was dealt to her and other times she is the wittiest, warmest woman I have ever met. She is the matriarch of 7 children, 17 grandchildren, 33 great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. When you meet her and tell her how nice it was to meet her she tells you of course it was! She has battled her own demons and found some kind of peace in her life, she is a woman who will brag about her family till you want to roll your eyes. But this is a woman who knows "what its all about" its about family, the good the bad and the ugly, but if you ask her she has no ugly, we don't bring ugly home from the hospital! lol